A Break Through – WODIN Receives our Very 1st Core Cost Funding from Women Resource Center
How does an organization build resilience and sustainability without foundational core funds in place? Such funds are meant to cover the day-to-day administrative, non-project-based aspects that oil the cogs and keep the services such organizations offer to the At-Risk Communities running?
This is the daily question on my mind every time WODIN receives a referral for support, food parcels, digital help, isolation, etc. You see…
Women and Digital Inclusion aka WODIN’s mission is to bridge the digital gap for Black Immigrant Women in Liverpool, Merseyside. We support the Black Immigrant woman into realizing her full potential by providing hands-on digital inclusion skills and need-based services that are relevant, convenient, and/or affordable.
Until now, we have done all this 100% on a voluntary basis, and unpaid. And we all know unless one is made of money, this model is not sustainable.
What I also very quickly learned is that there are a select few funding organisations willing to sponsor not just core costs but project costs for Black-led grassroots organisations with no proven track record on the charity trail.
I know this from personal experience and from the multitudes of conversations I have had with other black-led grassroots voluntary organizations leaders. The common thread is always,…
How so few funders offer support for core costs and even overheads. And even less still supporting black-led voluntary organizations.
That’s why it was such a heartwarming surprise when I received a heads up that the Women Resource Center (WRC) was specifically offering core costs funding, broken into two different rounds/pots. The £5000 in August and £10000 in October to Black and Minoritised Women’s Organisations.
This specific funding was a collaboration between WRC, Comic Relief, and the National Emergencies Trust (NET).
While we were so eager to hang on for the October £10K pot, we were also pragmatic knowing that WODIN while having been around as a loose constituted group for years, we were only recently registered as WODIN. Meaning we also don’t have audited financial records a factor many funders seem to demand as criteria.
Surprisingly WRC not only didn’t mind that an organization doesn’t have audited finances for at least 12 months, but they also are happy to support organizations without a bank account. This is huge for many grassroots organisations struggling to get a bank account set up these days.
Anyway, we made a safer bet and applied for the £5k August funding round, and I am so excited to announce that we got the funding. Not any old funding, but core costs covering staff time for 6 months and admin costs as well as overheads. This is huge.
This funding is a lifeline to WODIN as our resources have been stretched during the pandemic and lockdowns like most other grassroots voluntary organisations.
We also congratulate all the other organisations that received funds from the £5k round and wish those gunning for the £10 every success.
We are so grateful to the Women Resource Center, Comic Relief, and NET for your generosity and heart for black-led organisations. We can now have focused hours on building capacity, staff training, capacity bulding, get more volunteers on board. In fact, we did put out an ad for a Project worker. And we are happy to say we have got one in place.
Voluntary Organisations Core Costs Funding – final word
Voluntary Organisations Core Costs Funding is essential for our sustainability and continuing existence. More funders, sponsors, and charitable organisations should consider core costs as an essential part of any project bid and funding application.
A certain percentage of any funds offered should go towards core costs. Even if it’s only 15%. For some funders, this is considered as overheads and they are happy to give it. We suggest it becomes the norm so more small organisations offering essential services to the hard-to-reach communities continue to do the good work they do.
We at WODIN thank you to WRC, Comic relief and NET from the bottom of our hearts. We thank you for having our backs, thank you for understanding that grassroots voluntary organisations matter and don’t run on fumes. We thank you for supporting the BME community esp the women. 🙏 We wish you only more blessings, thriving, and longevity.